Pakistan cricket’s chief selector and coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday decided to bring back batsmen Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. Although the series is uncertain after 10 players from the Sri Lankan team backed out citing security concerns.
The batsmen have been out of favour with the national selection committee and the team management. Both the batsmen were not considered for the 2019 World Cup as well. The team’s senior players Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez have been excused by the board to play in the Caribbean Premier League until October 12. The Chief selector has also called back young fast bowler Muhammad Hasnain from the CPL(Caribbean Premier League) for the series after the board initially allowed him to skip the conditioning camp in Lahore and play in the T20 league.
Sri Lanka is scheduled to play three ODI’s and as many T20’s in Karachi and Lahore. The matches are scheduled between September 27 and October 9. The Sri Lanka Cricket announced the squads that will participate in the tour of Pakistan last week and announced Shanaka as the captain for the T20 games and Lahiru Thirimanne was announced as the skipper for the ODI team. The squad from Pakistan - Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Ahmed Shehzad, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Muhammad Aamir, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.
PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) ruled out shifting of the series after Sri Lanka received information of a possible terror attack on the Sri Lanka team. The tour is yet to be confirmed as the Sri Lankans, including Lasith Malinga, have expressed security concerns. The International Cricket Council (ICC) will also send its own independent security advisor to Karachi and Lahore to review the situation before deciding whether to appoint match officials for the series. International Cricket was banned in Pakistan after a gun attack on a touring Sri Lankan Team in Lahore on their way to the Gaddafi stadium in 2009.
(With inputs from PTI)